Robert Silverberg

AE35Unit

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I've never really liked the idea of "science fantasy". To me, it's either science fiction or fantasy, and there's no overlap. It doesn't matter whether or not the technology is "magical", it's a more fundamental difference. Unfortunately, like all theories, the real world doesn't always want to play along... not just Lord Valentine's Castle, but is Morgan's The Steel Remains actually sf and not fantasy?
Oh I believe in the distinction. Anne McCaffrey's Pern books, Jack Vance's Emphyrio, Frank Herbert' Dune and others are of this ilk. You could say its science fiction that's like fantasy in its content, or you could just say its Science Fantasy, Sf as opposed to SF
 

iansales

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I base the distinction on the worldview inherent in the story - which means Dune is science fiction, for all its mentions of prescience, Guild heighliners, and the like. To me, they're just furniture, or even literary devices.
 

thatollie

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I apologise if it's been said already, Dyson's Sphere concept came 10 years before Silverberg's novel.
 

ghost8772

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okay, so Dyson's paper was '59, (or so Wikipedia says) Niven grabbed a slice of the least plausible design (solid enclosure) in making ringworld, what book did Silverberg write about a dyson sphere?

I actually took a science fiction (english) class in high school, the teacher there classified things that there was hard sci-fi, soft sci-fi, and fantasy. basically the fantasy was a world where what happened didn't have scientific laws to back it up. The hard sci-fi was extrapolation of current technology to the next level, or several generations beyond. soft sci-fi was an extension of people more than technology, still has laws, but there were leaps and holes in the technology, or things that were unproveable. Basically if was science but touched fantasy. Fantasy itself was lumped in as something of a pseudo sci-fi, writing without real rules.
 

iansales

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Ghost, see, there you go: there are as many definitions of sf as there are readers of sf. For instance, many people define "hard sf" as that which focuses on the "hard"sciences" - physics, chemistry, biology, etc. While "soft sf" is that which focuses on softer sciences, such as anthropology, psychology, and the like.

As for fantasy not having rules... some fantasies have very sophisticated magic systems, with all the rules you could want...

Oh, and I'm not aware of Silverberg book which features a Dyson sphere, either. Bob Shaw's Orbitsville and its sequels certainly do. As does Colin Kapp's Cageworld series. And Stephen Baxter's The Time Ships.
 

GOLLUM

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I agree, much more like Fantasy but I guess that's what Silverberg intended. Incidentally does anyone have news of latest Majipoor books, theer don't seems to have been any recebtly?
He basically wraped those up a few years back now and was not intending to do any more.

I've read the entire series and they are one of my favourite.

He may write some more novellas or short stories set in that world but unlikely to write any more novels from what I understood.

Having said that I wish he would...SIGH.
 

jojajihisc

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I just read The Book of Skulls a couple weeks ago and loved it. My favorite thing about Robert Silverberg is that he has so many original and non-series books. For sheer quantity of ideas explored he is one of my favority authors in the genre.
 

Fried Egg

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Finally got around to reading "The Songs of Summer". Here's my mini-review:

A very good collection of tales ranging the early period of Silverberg's career (arranged in chronological order from 1956 to 1969) and are all of quite a high standard. This was surprising considering what I have heard said about his early work (that he was little more than a hack in the early days). This edition also includes a short but interesting introduction by the author himself.

The stories cover a broad range of themes with a general tendancy towards softer SF, particularly in the latter stories. "To be continued" is about a near immortal person who hides his longevity from everyone to avoid persecution but desperately seeks a mate now that his two thousand year adolesence has finally passed. "By the Seawall" explores what might happen to our psyche when we are cut off from the sea by huge sea walls after they have become infested with viscious sea monsters. "Bride 91" was a hilarious look at the future of marriage where terms are strictly limited to six months at a time and inter species coupling has become all the rage.

Reading this has definitely put me in mind to look out for more short stories by this author.
 

GOLLUM

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Reading this has definitely put me in mind to look out for more short stories by this author.
Well you may wish to source a copy of Phases Of The Moon - 6 decades of writing (1950s - 2000s) from the SFWA Grandmaster selected by Silverberg himself and NO I confess I've only dipped into it occasionally to date but the contents and presentation appears to be excellent. You may wish to google...
 

Fried Egg

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That looks very interesting Gollum although it appears to be very rare by the sounds of it.
 

GOLLUM

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That looks very interesting Gollum although it appears to be very rare by the sounds of it.
Yeh well...I specialise a little on the rarer books that are of good quality....:rolleyes: *Shrinks head back to something smaller than an entire room.

Actually I'm surprised about that, it is a recent PB edn. and I didn't realise such a rare item...AH I see you must be referring to the Subterranean press edn. that makes sense. I can recommend an Ibook publishers edn....plenty of copies on Amazon... :)

Amazon.com: Phases of the Moon: Six Decades of Masterpieces (9781596870574): Robert Silverberg: Books
 

Fried Egg

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Was anyone put in mind of Robert Silverberg's "Tower of Glass" when they saw pictures of the new highest tower Burj Dubai?

BurjDubai.jpg
TowerOfGlass.gif
 

jojajihisc

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I am now. Eerily similar.

Cant wait to see the "urbmon" equivalent. (The World Inside)
 

J Riff

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A late entry here - bu Silverberg was around a lot in the 80s, met him at a con, very friendly.
He wrote a ton of smut, smut light actually - the stuff with the wild covers and blurbs -but inside it was all pretty normal. He was buying copies of all this junk from a dealer friend after a fire wiped out his collection. There were hundreds of pseudonymous titles.
 

Fried Egg

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I've just finished "Thorns". Good but not great. I've now read a couple of Silverberg's highly regarded novels but have been left disappointed, especially because I know he can be great (with novels such as "Time of Changes" and Book of Skulls").

I have "Nightwings" of his next to read. Hopefully that will live up to my expectations.
 

Elflock

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I've just finished "Thorns". Good but not great. I've now read a couple of Silverberg's highly regarded novels but have been left disappointed, especially because I know he can be great (with novels such as "Time of Changes" and Book of Skulls").

I have "Nightwings" of his next to read. Hopefully that will live up to my expectations.
As a teenager,I loved 'Nightwings' and 'Time of Changes'...but I re-read them a few years ago and I thought they were both on the lame side of ordinary. ♫What a drag it is getting old♪...:p:rolleyes::mad:;)
 

jojajihisc

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That's the second reason I don't re-read books (the first being a stronger desire for something new every time) so as not to disabuse me of my illusions.
 

JustPassingThrough

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I guess that I had heard of him before, I must have with reading so much, but the first time that he struck in my mind was when I got a book from a library sale that was one of his, but it was one that was different. In it he talked about how he became a writer and printed the stories that inspired him and then included an afterword with each story that explained why he thought it was great. Later, I read a few of his stories and I cannot say that I was disappointed in the man. The last one that I read of his was a horror one that was about Mexican Death Masks. Pretty good and it also gave me the craving for tacos because of the way he described the corn tortilla frying.
 

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